I was just listening to a podcast of the BBC radio programme Word of Mouth
that is presented by the English poet and children's author Michael Rosen. He was interviewing the children's author Malorie Blackman who said something that could be taken as a riposte to some of the comments in this thread:
Language is a living breathing entity with parts that are dying and parts that are being born - moving all the time, adapting and changing.
...and (in relation to written rather than spoken language) I was then reminded of the prologue of a book that has already been cited in this thread, Steven Pinker's A Sense of Style
in which he traces the history of comments about the decline of English back through the 20th, 19th and 18th centuries, capping it off with a comment from William Caxton (he who introduced the English language to the printing press) who said:
And certaynly our language now used veryeth ferre from what whiche was used when I was borne"
...and even further back; apparently:
some of the clay tablets deciphered from ancient Sumerian include complaints about the deteriorating writing skills of the young.
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